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Petey’s – Rye, New Hampshire

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peteys lobster roll

This is a beautiful location right on the New Hampshire ocean, but if you want to see the view, you need to hit this one in summer because that’s when the upstairs deck is open.  There is a nice view of the marsh behind from the inside of the restaurant, but no ocean view.  To be honest, if you’re looking for a view and the comforts of indoor dining with waitress service, I would head up the road to Ray’s where you can have probably the best view possible year round while eating lobster.  But, if it’s lobster rolls that are on your mind, each of these spots offer very different versions.

I’ve been to Petey’s several times and quite liked it.  It is a major hot spot, year round.  Even on a Sunday afternoon in February people were parked far down the road.  My very favorite item here is the “lobster on a stick”.  I absolutely love it, probably more than quite a few lobster rolls.  I like it better than their lobster roll, but that doesn’t mean the lobster roll here isn’t great, it’s just that having an entire fresh lobster tail, on a stick, warm, dipped in butter may be one of the most genius creations ever.  Sadly, when I went this last time they were out of them, I nearly cried.  But, have no fear, I drowned my sorrows in lobster rolls, well, and also beer.

I had the version of the lobster roll that Petey’s offers at the Hampton Beach Seafood Fest and it is quite different than what they offer at the restaurant.  I think I like the Fest version better, it was actually one of my favorites there.  They offer a regular size and a jumbo size lobster roll at the restaurant.  I, of course, ordered both and when she delivered them, I actually had to ask which was which.  They really looked exactly the same, an illusion of the round bun perhaps.  The weights were indeed quite different, and the bread, despite identical appearance was different.  The regular sized bun had more of an airy brioche texture and less flavor and the jumbo was a heartier bread, more potato like dense texture and quite flavorful.  The both tasted bakery fresh or at least innovative, which I strongly admire.  I much preferred the jumbo bun as a complement to the lobster and hey, it comes with more lobster, so it’s an easy decision in the future.  The lobster meat is fresh caught and picked here and it tastes great.  They give a generous amount, but not as generous as the weight, including mayo and a hearty bun, might suggest.  However, I feel like they use a smidge too much mayo.  To look at the pictures, you might say way too much, but no.  It tastes like nearly the right combo, just a tiny bit over on the mayo.  One reason may be that they cut the meat into rather small chunks, which provides more surface area for mayo to stick to.  This is probably because I have found that when using a round bun, large chunks are not the right answer, they fall right out.  Either go uncut, ala Clam Shack, or cut small for a round bun.  There is also shredded lettuce involved.  You can’t pick off shredded lettuce, it just gets into every bite.  Ken quite liked it’s inclusion, but I would request without in the future.  Overall, this is a very good lobster roll with a fabulous view, particularly in the summer.  But, for me, the main attraction remains the “lobster on a stick”, the greatest seafood innovation since the lobster roll.

Regular weighed in at 8.8 oz.

Jumbo weighed in at 12.9 oz.

Visited May 2013

Petey’s website

Petey's Summertime Seafood on Urbanspoon

The Ice House Restaurant – New Castle, New Hampshire

The Ice House’s lobster roll is in my book, Lobster Rolls of New England!!

lobster coveredited

Ray’s Seafood – Rye, New Hampshire

Lobster Roll at Ray's Seafood Rye, New Hampshire

We started our winter visit to the New Hampshire coast with a visit to Ray’s.  I must say, as views go, this is really one of the best views with a lobster roll I have seen.  Rays’s sits right across the road from the ocean and has an unobstructed view, even in the winter at the tables upstairs.  This seems to me to be really good planning because I’ve seen places with a great location, but somehow, there is minimal view from the restaurant or it’s all saved for the summer outdoor dining.  In New England, since summer is really only 2-3 months, I really love a place where you can get a great view and a lobster roll the other 10 months of the year.  Anyway, enough about the view, on to the lobster roll.  They proudly proclaim from the sign outside that they catch their own lobsters.  I double checked this with the waitress since sometimes the standards for the steamed lobster doesn’t apply to the lobster roll.  They also give a choice of hot or cold, so I’m super loving this place even before the food arrives.  I, of course, ordered the hot and I would say that it was pretty standard.  There was TCK (tail, claw, knuckle), I love this term ever since I heard it at a fish place and intend to use the heck out of it.  The bread was the usual wonder bread esque split top hot dog, toasted, not grilled.  The flavor of the meat was good, but they use the sautee the meat in butter, hot lobster method.  And, as is the danger on this method, the meat ended up a bit overcooked and it wasn’t saturated enough with butter.  I prefer the butter and meat heated separately, steaming the meat, just enough to heat it up.  For the butter, very hot (sauteed) just makes it too liquefied, if doesn’t stick to the meat.  I like to melt it, then let it sit until it’s melted, but kind of sauce consistency.  Also tried the lobster stew.  It was so hot it burns your tongue, not my thing, it was fine, but kind of like lobster in super hot milk.  I do want to go back here to try the cold roll because their meat was great, I think the sauteeing was just not the right answer.  So, overall, a good roll, amazing view, and I really respect that they catch, cook and serve their own lobsters.

Visited February 2012

Ray's Seafood & Lobsters on Urbanspoon